Roper River

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StateLibQld 1 113736 Goodwill (ship).jpg
The Goodwill on the Roper River
Country Australia
Territory Northern Territory
Mouth Limmen Bight
 - location Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia
 - coordinates 14°42′40″S 135°19′42″E / 14.71111°S 135.32833°E / -14.71111; 135.32833Coordinates: 14°42′40″S 135°19′42″E / 14.71111°S 135.32833°E / -14.71111; 135.32833
Basin 81,794 km2 (31,581 sq mi)
 - average 158.4 m3/s (5,594 cu ft/s)
Location of the Roper River mouth
in the Northern Territory
Roper River

The Roper River is one of the largest rivers in the Northern Territory, Australia, extending east for over 500 km to meet the sea in Limmen Bight on the Gulf of Carpentaria.

The Roper River is a large, perennial flowing river and has a catchment area of 81,794 km2, which is one of the largest river catchment areas in the Katherine region.[2] The Roper River starts as Roper Creek (also called Little Roper River) and becomes the Roper River downstream of Waterhouse River junction near Mataranka.[2] It is navigable for about 145 km, until the tidal limit at Roper Bar, and forms the southern boundary of the region known as Arnhem Land. Mataranka Hot Springs and the township of Mataranka lie close to the river at its western end. Port Roper lies near its mouth on Limmen Bight.

The river has a mean annual outflow of 5,000 gigalitres (6.540×109 cu yd).[3]

The first European to explore the Roper River was Ludwig Leichhardt in 1845 as he made his way from Moreton Bay to Port Essington. Leichhardt crossed the river at Roper Bar, a rocky shelf which conveniently lies at the high tide limit on the river. He named the river after John Roper, a member of the expedition.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Map of Roper River, NT". Bonzle Digital Atlas of Australia. Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Overview of the Roper River Catchment" (PDF). Roper River Catchment: An Assessment of the Physical and Ecological Condition of the Roper River and its Major Tributaries. Northern Territory Government, Department of Land Resource Management. January 2001. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  3. ^ "Roper River" (PDF). TRaCK. 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  4. ^ "Roper, John (1822–1895)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. 1976. Retrieved 1 May 2015.